Mixed reactions to Willow Brook Centre’s new speed bumps

Photo of one of the new full-width speed bumps.

The replacement of a number of cushion-type speed bumps on the access road of the Willow Brook shopping centre with new, more severe, full-width bumps sparked extensive debate on the Journal’s Facebook page during March.

The reader who started the discussion remarked on the “large traffic queue” that had formed because of drivers slowing to a crawl as they passed over the “overly harsh” speed bumps, noting that this had resulted in the roundabout near the Three Brooks pub becoming blocked.

Scores of other readers added comments complaining about the severity of the bumps, expressing fears that their vehicles’ suspension and/or wheel alignment might be damaged as a result of passing over them.

Others complained about the discomfort experienced by vehicle occupants, particularly the elderly or disabled and those with sensitive medical conditions such a back pain.

On the other hand, the new bumps were strongly supported by readers who are concerned about the safety of pedestrians using the zebra crossing or have experienced issues with vehicles swerving into the centre of the road to avoid the previous cushion-type bumps.

Speed bumps were first installed at the centre in September 2011 following a series of accidents that had been attributed to speeding. The centre management later claimed that the number of reported incidents had reduced from 58 in the 35 months prior to installation of the bumps to zero in the subsequent 12 months.

Responding to a statement request from the Journal, Andy Wynn, manager of the Willow Brook Centre, said:

“The new speed bumps have been installed following a review of safety in the area, in light of a number of near misses for both pedestrians and vehicles. The speed bumps are designed to be driven over between 5 miles per hour and the speed limit of the car park, which has always been 10 miles per hour. The same make and model of speed bump is in place in several car parks around Bristol and has been for some years.”

Selected reader comments from our Facebook page

JF: They are too harsh! I have problems with my spine and going over these was agony. Think the centre will be seeing legal action. These things also play havoc with the suspension on cars.

AC: The traffic was backed up this weekend as far as Bradley Stoke Way and Brook Way. One more reason to avoid our ‘town centre’.

DH: I’m not sure why they haven’t just put in full width-speed cushions which are not so vicious and don’t slow the traffic to a standstill – there has to be some middle ground!

CH: They are doing exactly what they are supposed to do which is slow the traffic down approaching the zebra crossing. A lot of children use the crossing going to and from school. I think they are a good thing.

CC: Perfectly acceptable! If people didn’t avoid the smaller ones by driving down the centre of the road then it wouldn’t have happened. Had so many near misses because of the old ones.

Read scores more comments here.

This article originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 15). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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